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The Advent Story (Day 6)(All)(1084 words)

The Advent Story, Day 6

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I got a letter yesterday and brought it with me. It said “Dear Mr Pant-o-mime, as you have failed to pay…” oh wait, no, THIS letter said “I was a bit confused about what’s going on. Can you explain please?”

Now just in case it wasn’t that hoodoo about the voodoo and the doodoo (oh, I did enjoy that!), I thought it might be about the way that Jack, Stan and everyone keeps talking about other things not related to the story.  In the world of theatre, films and acting, it’s called ‘breaking the fourth wall’.

So, we have actors, and they have scripts and when they are acting they are supposed to imagine that the only world that they know is the thing they are playing – so for Jack and Stan, they are currently high up in a cloud palace.

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So, if Jack and Stan were in a cell (which was where they were heading) you would expect that the cell had four walls to keep them in (otherwise it’s a pretty rubbish cell).  But that would mean that you couldn’t see them (unless you looked through the bars if that wall had them); so the fourth wall – the one that would stop you from seeing the actors in the cell – is “removed” and everyone pretends that it’s there. Now, being a play, it isn’t possible to get an audience to just get up and move to a location (although there are some plays that will do that around historical cities) so they use sets and things made to look like things called props.  These props are moved by Stage Hands – such as Catherine.

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When the props and backdrops appear, they are moved there by the stage hands who are typically dressed in black so they are not seen as they move across the stage. And, like the audience, they are supposed to be invisible to the actors. But Pantomime and sometimes other plays, deliberately break these rules sometimes talk to the audience and the stage hands – typically because it makes it a little different.

So, let’s catch up with the principle people that have been appearing in the story so far:

Well, there’s me, Pant-o-mime.  Handsome fellow, aren’t I?

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Then there’s Catherine – just thought I’d mention her now as she’s out back moving things around.

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Then we have Jack and Stan. Stan is a frog and Jack isn’t. Jack had sold the family cow for two ginger biscuits (I know, just two – I mean Bourbon biscuits I could understand, but ginger biscuits?). Anyway, the ginger biscuits were magical and one grew into a beanstalk.  Stan just arrived and we haven’t worked out his back story yet.

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Next is Aunt Boris. Aunt Boris is Jack’s aunt, and gave Jack the job of selling the cow.  Fortunately, Aunt Boris managed to get Daisy (the family cow) back, but is still angry with Jack.

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Jemima is a duck that lays golden eggs.  She is owned by The Emperor Penguin. The Emperor Penguin is quite mean, but not as mean as Lord Trencham who we haven’t met yet.  Jemima laid a small golden egg, but kicked it over the edge so The Emperor wouldn’t see it.  The Emperor has summoned the palace guard (a gingerbread man) and instructed him to take them to the cells.

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I think that’s about everything.  I’d like to thank Brian’s Carrots for this wonderful fruit hamper that they gave us – I had no idea that a carrot was a fruit! Anyway… onto the story:

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The gingerbread man pushed Jack and Stan towards the cell.

“I’ve got an idea” said Jack. “Follow my lead.”

“I did wonder about that thing around your neck” said Stan.

“Guard” said Jack. “You’ve got to let us go.  I’ve got to get back – I’ve an expensive musical instrument that I need to collect before it gets pawned.”

“What are you talking about?” said the guard.

“Well” said Jack, “there’s a small club in the village run by a Samuel Frank.  Each month he has an Open Mic night and I took part.  I brought my lyre with me, hoping to play a collection of Abba songs. But, well I don’t know, people didn’t like it.”

“Well, no-one likes a lyre” said Stan.

“So I was booed off stage, but had to leave the instrument behind.  Samuel said that if I didn’t collect it before the club evening finished, he would sell it.”

“You’re telling me” said the guard, “That you left your harp in Sam Frank’s Disco?”

“Oh please lock him up for that!” said Stan.

“Oh, I couldn’t lock him up for that” said the guard. “It’s not like he’s got a criminal record.”

“I bet he owns something by Justin Bieber” said Stan.

“You’re NOT helping” said Jack.  “Alright, fine, let’s do it the old-fashioned way… Guard, look, over there!”

“Over where?” asked the guard and turned to see where Jack was pointing.

“Now, run!” cried Jack.

“Well, go on then” said Stan, “You’re carrying me – remember?”

“Oh, yes, right, good point!”  And they ran towards the bean stalk, sticking up through the floor.

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Jack started to climb down.

“Please come back” said the guard. “Or at least let me know if you get your Harp back!”

The climb down was quite easy – especially when Stan pointed out how the leaves went round the stalk in a spiral fashion.  Finally, they got to the bottom.

“Phew!” said Jack.

“There you are!” cried Aunt Boris. “I’ve been waiting for you to come down – even after you threw this large rock at my head!”

She held up a golden ball.

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“The egg!” said Stan. “It’s gone from being all square and lumpy to something round.  But it’s still gold!”

“A talking frog!” said Aunt Boris.  Jack and Stan stared at her, then nodded. Jack spoke.

“Of course, you’ve not met yet – Aunt Boris, this is Stan; Stan this is Aunt Boris.”

“Pleased to meet you” said Stan.

“And you” said Aunt Boris. “Now… Jack…”

“HAVE YOU GOT MY MONEY?” said a large, deep, angry voice (and yes, it was deeper than Aunt Boris’)

“Oh no!” said Aunt Boris. “It’s Lord Trencham!”

Advent Present:

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Today’s advent present was the fruit and veg basket. I was a little confused by the introduction of a carrot into the bundle and those cherries do look a little suspect to me, but there are quite a few useful parts that I can use after Christmas in builds.

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